FAIRMONT – The Buckhannon-Upshur wrestling Buccaneers put in a solid showing at the 30-team, two-day Winner’s Choice Tournament this past weekend at the Fairmont Field Armory.
The Bucs placed 12th overall with 87 points.
Waynesburg (Pa.) won the team title with 208.5 points while East Fairmont was second with 174.5 and Parkersburg was third with 170. North Allegheny (Pa.) was fourth with 164.5 points and Meyersdale (Pa.) was fifth with 129.
“This is the first time this season we competed in an individual tournament,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Jacob Orr. “The Winner’s Choice Tournament is a historically tough tournament that hosts some of the top schools in the state as well as out of state. This year proved to be no different.”
Senior captain Tyler Cutright had the best showing for the Bucs as he took runner-up honors in the 138-pound weight class with a 4-1 record.
His lone setback was in the title clash where he lost a close 5-3 decision to Parkerburg’s John Martin.
“Tyler wrestled well all weekend and he went out and took care of business,” stated Orr. “With his placing this year. he becomes one of the few wrestlers in Buckhannon-Upshur’s history to place at Winner’s Choice all four years.”
Cutright was one of four B-U wrestlers to place at the tournament.
Jacob Smithson, in the 160-pound weight class, took fourth with a 3-2 record while Julius Hobbs (120 pounds) and Breagan Pearson (145 pounds) both took sixth place.
Hobbs posted a 4-3 record while Pearson went 3-3.
Other Bucs earning wins were Austin McCartney (126) and Tucker Hurst (132) as they both went 2-2 while Trevor Randolph (113) and Todd Cutlip (285) both went 1-2.
‘The course of the season is taking on a new look as we are in to the part of the season where we will start preparing for individual tournaments,” Orr stated. “That’s what the post season will look like. Prior to this it’s been more about mat time and duals tournament, to be on the mat as much as possible so that we can make adjustments. This is the switch from quantity of matches to quality of matches.”
The event also turned out to be quite the memorable one for assistant coach Levi Bender.
Prior to the wrestling action starting on Saturday, Bender’s girlfriend Abby went into labor as she was there to cheer on the team.
“They immediately rushed out of the Fairmont Field House and headed to UHC,” noted Orr. “The delivery went well and Abby and Levi finally got to meet their beautiful baby boy Bael Lynn Bender. The wrestling team would like to congratulate both of them.”
Once the dust had settled for Orr and his team Saturday evening, he was pleased with how his Bucs wrestled.
“Overall we performed well, but there is always room for improvement,” concluded Orr. “There are a few matches that we’d like to have back, however on paper we finished at or just above where we were supposed to...on paper, but as coach I know we fell short in a few matches and if I’m okay with that then there is a problem.”
The Bucs were slated to wrestle last night at South Harrison.
They will return to the mat Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Brooke Classic.
The Bucs will then prepare for the Big 10 Championships Feb. 1-2 at Lewis County High.
1. Waynesburg (Pa.) 208.5; 2. East Fairmont 174.5. 3. Parkersburg 170; 4. North Allegheny (Pa.) 164.5; 5. Meyersdale (Pa.) 129; 6. University 121.5; 7. Washington 111. 8. Fairmont Senior 102; 9. Cabell Midland 97.5; 10. Riverbend (Va.) 96.5; 11. Riverside 88; 12. Buckhannon-Upshur 87; 13. North Marion 75; 14. Keyser 72.5; 15. Ritchie County 71; 16. Oak Hill 66; 17. Bridgeport 65; 18. South Harrison 61; 19. Spring Mills 59.5; 20. Sissonville 51; 21. Petersburg 50; 22. Roane County 47; 23. Morgantown 43.5; 24. Lewis County 43. 25. George Washington 41; 26. Williamstown 39; 27. Fairmont Senior Junior Varsity 18; 28. Hyndman (Pa.) 17; 29. Nitro 16.5; 30. Preston 15.